What Are the Best Potatoes for French Fries? Russet or Maris Piper?

What Are the Best Potatoes for French Fries? Russet or Maris Piper?

Everyone has their own opinion on the best potatoes for French fries. Some people prefer waxy potatoes, while others believe that starchy potatoes are the way to go. So, what is the best potato for French fries?

According to some experts, there is no one definitive answer. Instead, it depends on your preferences and frying method. Keep reading to find out more!

First things first: All potatoes are not equal.

With time, you will understand that not all types of potatoes are ideal to make French fries. Similarly, how you deal with them in a dry pan also makes a significant difference. So if you want a crispier exterior of your fries, keep reading.

The first point to keep in mind is that small potatoes are not ideal for crispier, restaurant-quality French fries. For this purpose, you need to pick the large potatoes. Other than this, you need a high-quality oil, a frying pan, or pot or air fryer to get crisp French fries right in your kitchen.

What varieties of potatoes can you use for French fries?

As per my experience and also as per the expert’s recommendation, the best potato that you can use for French fries are the Russet potatoes. We recommend using the Maris Piper potatoes for potato chips to get an extra fluffy texture from the inside.

However, Maris Piper potatoes are not widely available in the USA. Instead, these are more common in European countries.

As for the French fries, Russet potatoes are the best, and you will find them everywhere in the USA and other countries.

However, suppose Russet potatoes are not available in your nearby supermarket. In that case, we recommend using the other starchy potatoes such as King Edward potatoes, Gold Rush potatoes, and Sweet Jewel fingerling potatoes.

As the last option, you can also opt for Floury potatoes. In case you don’t know what Floury potatoes are, let me explain. These potatoes fall between starchy and waxy potatoes. The most common Floury potato in the USA is Yukon Gold.

Read more : Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup Recipe

Best Potatoes for French fries

The perfect potato for making French fries is the Russet Burbank. It has a high starch to water ratio and an excellent shape, making it one of the best varieties around when considering how we like our potatoes – cut up into chunks with skin on them (for extra crunch).

Another reason why Russet potatoes are the best choice for French fries is their large size. This allows you to slice them according to your needs (preferably long sticks).

Furthermore, some foodies prefer to leave the skins over their fries, and Russet Burbank potato skins allow you to do the same along with the crispiest texture.

Let’s look at some of the other reasons why Russet Burbank are the first choice for French fries:

Adequate solid/water ratio 

Russet potatoes are the perfect ingredient for making crispy, golden-fried French fries. They have a high starch content that makes them fluffy from the inside and provides a perfect crunchy exterior with just enough sweetness to keep you wanting more.

Adequate shape

Slicing French fries is a lot easier with the right potato. The Russet variety has an attractive shoestring shape and produces potatoes that will stay solid when you put them in hot oil, making them easy to slice without getting mushy.

Some waxy potatoes types, such as the red potatoes and the new potatoes, contain high moisture levels inside them. This extra moisture makes these potatoes hollow when frying because the moisture vanishes quickly. Besides, slicing them is also tricky than the Russets.

High nutritious value

Russet potatoes are a rich source of iron, protein, and vitamin C. They also contain reasonable amounts of antioxidant Vitamins B6 as well as other healthy nutrients like fiber that help maintain your body’s health.

A soft and texture

To get the tasty and crispy French fries, you will need floury-fluffy potatoes, and Russet potato includes these properties but only in the USA. In the UK, you will find these qualities in the Maris Piper potatoes. You will also find these characteristics in Katahdin potatoes.

What is the Best Potato Type to make French Fries in an Air Fryer?

Again the Russets!

This is because Russet potatoes contain a perfect balance of solid-water ratio. Hence you can safely and comfortably use these in an air fryer and get the desired results. Keep in mind, an air fryer doesn’t need that much oil and delivers the best results in no time.

When you use Russet potatoes to make French fries in an air fryer, the absorption will be much less as these potatoes are thick than the others.

When making French fries in an air fryer, we recommend using a spoon of olive oil. This will be enough to get that crispy and golden fries.

Besides, Russet potatoes do not hoard additional sugar with time. The minimal sugar content and balanced moisture level in russets make them ideal for French fries as well as for other quick meals.

Furthermore, most potatoes will lose their original texture and shape when you use them with an air fryer, but that’s not the case with Russet potatoes, and they will preserve their original shape, texture, and crispiness even under the harsh heat of an air fryer.

Air fryers are a great way of cooking food with limited space. For the fries or any other vegetables used in an air frying recipe to have maximum crispiness, they must be stacked on top of each other and not layered across multiple layers.

A single layer can produce better results than stacking more than one layer, which will result in stickier potatoes due to less airspace between them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Some Potato Types Deliver Crunchier Fries than Others?

When making the best French fries, you must choose your potatoes wisely. Waxy or red ones will result in soggy and greasy fries, while fingerlings can soak up too much oil, which makes them taste bad as well.
The key to get the crispy fries lies in the starch-moisture ratio. That’s the reason you should use high-starch potatoes such as Russets to get crispy French fries. Keep in mind that if the starch content gets too high, you will end up with too stiff fries; thus, balance is the key.

Do you recommend soaking the potatoes before frying?

You can soak some high-starch potatoes such as Russet, Idaho, and Yukon gold potatoes before using them for French fries. Soaking these potatoes also prevents burnt fries, and you will get perfect crispiness in your French fries.
As long as soaking the potatoes does not affect the starch-moisture content, it is an excellent way to prevent over-cooked fries.


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Risa Weiner
By Risa Weiner

Risa is a Canadian Food writer, YouTuber, Food developer, and Food stylist. She writes about food, kitchen gadgets, wellness, and ideas to make all your favorite recipes into Low-Fat recipes.


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